February greetings, friends of Human Solutions!

Winter weather like we’ve experienced so far this month really drives home how tragic it is that so many of our neighbors are experiencing homelessness. While severe weather has serious impacts, we all know that even a summer night on the streets is not ok. At Human Solutions, we believe that every person deserves a safe and secure place to call home, and we work toward that goal every day in East Portland/East Multnomah County, which has been our home and the heart of our work for 30 years.

Here’s what’s on our minds right now – please let us know if there’s something on your mind that you’d like to hear more about (just email Lisa, our communications guru).

Housing Bills in the Oregon Legislature

Our state legislature is in session right now, and we’re pleased to share that there are a number of important housing bills before our state lawmakers, which aim to solve the housing crisis before our state lawmakers. Human Solutions is an active member of the Oregon Housing Alliance, a statewide coalition with a vision of every Oregonian having a safe, stable, and affordable place to call home. We are supporting their policy agenda this year, which includes a statewide bill that would protect renters from big rent increases and no-cause evictions, two practices that we know are harming renters and causing homelessness (SB 608). We invite you to learn more about all the bills we are supporting this session; you’ll find them explained on the Housing Alliance web site here.

Please email your state representative to share your support for the statewide anti-gouging bill (some are calling it statewide rent control) – the more “yes” messages they get the better! This bill passed the senate earlier this week, so the House of Representatives will hear it next. Use your voice for good:  just click here for the Action Alert.

Great Watch: “Priced Out: 15 Years of Gentrification in Portland, Oregon”

This 2017 documentary is a must watch for anyone who cares about the future of Portland and its past and current racist treatment of African Americans and where they have been allowed to live.

“Priced Out is an investigative and personal look at housing discrimination and the pain of losing a community to gentrification. The film explores the complexities and contradictions of gentrification and life after the era of “the ghetto.” The documentary powerfully illustrates how government policies and market forces combine to destroy and rebuild neighborhoods. Some embrace new investment at first, but few are left standing when new money moves in and old residents find themselves priced out.”

It’s free to stream through Multnomah County Library, and there’s an accompanying podcast with a recent episode that focuses on the 2019 Oregon legislature’s proposed statewide anti-gouging bill. Listen!

Monthly Giving @ Human Solutions: Become a Path Builder Today!

We are excited to roll out our Path Builders program this month! This powerful monthly giving program is an excellent way for you to conveniently support the work Human Solutions is doing to help people in our community get back on their feet. If you believe as we do that everyone deserves a safe and stable place to call home, this new program is a great way to be part of the solution.

Most of us come into contact with people impacted by our local housing/homeless crisis every day. We all want to help, but do not always know how. Path Builders is a way to know you’re doing what you can. Human Solutions works with hundreds of very low-income people every day to build pathways out of poverty. Join us in doing all we can to ensure that everyone in our community has economic and housing security and the opportunity to reach their goals. Sign up today! We think you’ll be glad you did.

Success: Blanket Drive

BIG thanks to The Circuit Climbing Gym in Portland for holding a winter blanket drive that brought in 150 blankets for our two emergency shelters! We love it when local businesses have great ideas to support our work through their own portals. In this case, The Circuit offered $5 off daily gym passes for anyone who donated a blanket. And 150 generous climbers responded. We need blankets *constantly* because when people leave one of our shelters we encourage them to take some essential items with them for their new home, including a blanket. So the blankets you donate get used in shelter and going forward. If you are inspired to run a “drive” in your community – for blankets, socks/underwear, hats/gloves, hygiene items, and more – contact our awesome donations and volunteer coordinator, Christina, via email or cell (503.278.1637) and she’ll get you all set up. Thanks in advanced!

Let’s Eat! Save the Date, Please.

We are grateful to McMenamin’s for generously hosting us on Tuesday, April 9th for a “Friends & Family” night, which means that they donate 50% of the night’s proceeds at Edgefield’s Power Station Pub to Human Solutions. The more of us who go for dinner, the more they donate!

Will you join us for a fun evening to support the work we are doing? You’ll find the Power Station Pub in Troutdale on the beautiful Edgefield campus. No need to RSVP, just bring the family and invite all your friends. We’ll be glad to see you there.

Thank you for being part of the Human Solutions family. We are grateful for all who support us and look forward to connecting with you at Edgefield in April!